An average smartwatch is elevated to a higher level with the addition of LTE connectivity. It is no longer merely a part of your phone but instead has the ability to function entirely independently.
Before buying a cellular smartwatch, here are some things you should consider.
Why Should You Purchase a Cellular Smartwatch?
There are many reasons why you should acquire a smartwatch with 3G or 4G connectivity. Your device will determine the specific capabilities that you have access to use. You should, however, anticipate having the capacity to make and receive calls from your arm even in the absence of a mobile phone, in addition to specific functionalities that are designed to assist you in an emergency. In addition, you may receive and send notifications, access the internet, download music, upload data about your watches to the cloud, and do much more. There is no need for cell phones or wireless internet.
It is comparable to the well-known Dick Tracy watch in certain respects. The distinctive two-way radio was worn on the wrist of the detective character in the comic strip when it first appeared in 1946. In case you were wondering, the answer is “yes,” someone came up with the notion of constructing a replica of the item that could be used in its intended manner.
What Sets eSIM Apart from LTE, and How Do They Work Together?
LTE or eSIM are the two technologies that are used in cellular watches. There is a significant gap between the two in terms of functionality despite offering the same kind of service.
The LTE equivalent of a SIM card is called an eSIM. It is an actual card that may be inserted into or taken out of your watch at any time.
On the other hand, a separate breed of creature is known as an eSIM, which is an abbreviation for “embedded SIM.” It is included in the product as a component of the device’s motherboard or CPU. Because of this, it is not possible to delete it from the device. This means that you do not require a SIM ejector in your possession.
eSim may be programmed to your smartphone and will download your carrier plan in a roundabout way. In this manner, it will act as if it were your phone and connect to the same network. That means you dial the same number you have programmed into your smartphone. There will typically be a charge for this, but the amount will vary depending on the carrier and the equipment you own.
The switchover is handled digitally online if you switch providers while using an eSim. This manner of connectivity is rapidly becoming the norm in today’s society. It is speculated that electronic SIMs will become the dominant form of SIM cards in the near future.
Is it Reasonable to Expect a Return on Investment From a Cellular Watch?
Some people like watches that can connect to LTE networks, while others do not. They believe it is unlikely they will use the function frequently.
One should also consider the cost. The purchase price of an LTE or wearable the cellular device is significantly higher than that of a watch that does not have that type of connectivity. You will also need to consider the monthly rates the service provider charges.
Consequently, these are not something that would appeal to everyone. The good news is that some manufacturers provide you with the option of purchasing a gadget that is either cellular or non-cellular. Apple and Samsung are two companies that perfectly illustrate this point.
Cellular watches are something to consider getting if you want to maintain your connection while you’re on the go, even if you don’t have your phone with you. The combination of an internal GPS and connectivity via 4G or LTE makes it possible to have an utterly untethered smartwatch. When you include inbuilt memory for music, you become truly independent from your phone. However, if you do not want anyone to call you while you are out on your run, then perhaps this kind of device is not for you because it does not have a speaker.
What About the Lifespan of the Battery?
Battery life is another significant factor to take into account. The amount of time that passes between charges is going to become shorter thanks to cellular connectivity. It depends heavily on how frequently you utilize the functionality and the specific smartwatch you are wearing at the time. However, it would most certainly deplete your battery more quickly than it would if you were not using the feature. Because of this, most mobile devices that support 4G/LTE connectivity also come with batteries that have a higher capacity.
The Top LTE-capable Smartwatches Available in 2022
Although the number of LTE-enabled watches is still relatively limited, their availability is gradually expanding. We are confident that it is only a matter of time before the vast majority of newly released smartwatches are equipped with this feature.
This is our rundown of the greatest that is currently available to purchase.
- Apple Watch Series 6,7, SE
The Apple Watch is, without a doubt, the most technologically advanced smartwatch currently on the market. You can choose to install any one of the thousands of available apps, all of which have a professional appearance and feel. Plus, watchOS 8 has some helpful new features, such as additional mindfulness tools and information about the user’s respiratory system.
- Samsung Galaxy Watch 4
It should go without saying if you already own a Samsung phone. I recommend you get the Galaxy Watch. Those who use iOS would benefit more from purchasing either the Apple Watch or any one of the gadgets listed on this page. This is due to the fact that iPhones cannot pair with the Galaxy watch of the fourth generation. If you own an Android phone, the device will present you with several excellent choices from which to choose.
- Garmin Vivoactive 3 Music Verizon
This is Garmin’s first watch that can be considered an LTE watch. There is not a lot of functionality available. You cannot make phone calls, but you can stream music, send and receive text messages, and access the safety features on the device. It is provided that you are enrolled on one of Verizon’s plans. It is not the best option for someone searching for a cellular watch with all its features.
- Garmin Forerunner 945 LTE
The second attempt that Garmin made at creating an LTE watch does not advance beyond the prior one. It is an excellent choice if you are interested in purchasing a high-quality sports watch and feel that you do not want additional protection features. The cost of cellular service on a monthly basis is not unreasonable.
- Mobvoi Ticwatch Pro 4G/LTE (Android Wear)
A fantastic watch is running Wear OS. The TicWatch Pro stands out from the competition because of its innovative two-layer display, consisting of both an AMOLED and a low-power LCD display. The technology is able to flip between them while simultaneously preserving the life of the battery.
- Fossil Gen 5 LTE
Another wristwatch on this list that runs on WearOS, the Fossil Gen 5 LTE, is designed for people who use Verizon’s network. The corporation is the parent organization for a considerable number of different brand names. You should anticipate that some of these may gain cellular functionality in the coming weeks and months.
1. Apple Watch Watch Series 6, 7, and SE
The Apple Watch Series 6, Series 7, and Apple Watch SE all come equipped with LTE connectivity. Additionally, a few of the other variants do as well. They make use of the same number that your smartphone does. While users still need a SIM card, the watch comes equipped with a little electronic SIM card. We are not exaggerating when we claim that it is negligible because it is only one percent the height of a conventional SIM card.
When you move away from your phone, the wristwatch will switch to using the cellular signal instead of the Bluetooth connection. This enables you to dial contact numbers, send or receive calls, and read and respond to text messages, even when you do not possess your smartphone. There is also the potential for third-party applications to tap into this signal.
The features determine the model of the wristwatch you should get and the amount of money you are willing to spend. The Apple Watch Series 7 is the most up-to-date and cutting-edge model. Recently introduced, it features a marginally larger screen and Series 6. But unfortunately, that is pretty much where the progress stops. There is a new S7 CPU, although, in many ways, it is very similar to the S6 processor. Other enhancements include speakers that are fifty percent louder and a back that is constructed of black ceramic and sapphire crystal to boost the device’s ability to receive cellular signals.
Therefore, selecting Series 6 as your option will allow you to save a few dollars; nevertheless, you will need to shop at various retailers to find the best deal. Or save even more by going for SE. Although it does not have the always-on feature, blood oxygen measures, or an ECG app, you will nonetheless receive an extremely reliable timepiece.
2. Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 and Galaxy Watch 4 Classic
The following two incarnations of Samsung’s wristwatch series were both released by the company in August of 2021. The Galaxy Watch Active 2 and the Galaxy Watch 3 have been succeeded by the Galaxy Watch 4 and the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic, respectively. You can purchase either one in a version that has Bluetooth or one that also has LTE.
In comparison to preceding gadgets, this one has a few refined design improvements here and there. However, they maintain the classic Galaxy appearance, right down to the revolving bezel on the watch. You can purchase Watch 4 in either a 40mm or a 44mm case size. The Watch 4 Classic is available in 42mm and 46mm case sizes. Although the screen is now a hair smaller than it was in the past, the overall gadget now has a more modern appearance and is thinner. Additionally, the display’s resolution has been improved. Following this link will take you to an in-depth comparison of the current generation with the one that came before it.
The fact that the smartwatches run on the latest operating system is the most substantial piece of information here. Galaxy Watches are the only devices available right now that are capable of executing Google’s most recent version of its operating system. They do not use Tizen OS; instead, they use a One UI Watch skin that is layered on top of Wear OS 3.0. This type of platform offers the recognizable look, feel, and functionality of the Tizen operating system while also providing access to the advantages of the Google Play Store. This contains a vast selection of apps that one can obtain via download and subsequent installation.
There is still access to all of the useful features for monitoring your health and fitness. Depending on the user’s preference, the SpO2 sensor may now monitor blood oxygen levels actively or passively. In addition to that, the timepieces come equipped with a brand new BioActive Sensor. From a single device, it monitors the patient’s PPG, ECG, and BIA. BIA was a service that was formerly unavailable. There is music storage on board and compatibility for offline Spotify playlists, so you can listen to tunes while you’re on the move.
3. Garmin Vivoactive 3 Music Verizon
The Vivoactive 3 is like a Swiss army knife when it comes to fitness trackers. Plus, it looks good. The LTE-enabled gadget comes with built-in support for music downloads, phone-free safety features, and text message functionality.
The specifications are, for the most part, identical to those of the regular version. This indicates that it has built-in music storage, GPS, barometric altimeter, compass, accelerometer, thermometer, heart rate monitors, and NFC for contactless payments. There are a total of 15 pre-installed sports profiles, some of which include activities such as snowboarding, cardio, yoga, stair stepper, and elliptical trainer.
One of the new security measures is an all-new incident detection system that works during certain activities and has the ability to notify emergency contacts of your whereabouts in real-time. The second possibility is to activate it manually, or you might turn on the Garmin LiveTrack feature.
You will not be able to make phone calls, but it will be possible for you to send and receive text messages. For all of these new capabilities to be accessible to you, you will need to have a Verizon service plan that is paid for on a monthly basis.
4. Garmin Forerunner 945 LTE
The Forerunner 945 LTE is a cellular upgrade to the initial release version, as its name suggests. Within the Forerunner line of products, the 945 is one of the most frequently used models. It is perfect for active individuals who want a fully functional sports watch but don’t want to spend a lot of money on one.
Imagine a Fenix with a body that isn’t as nice and one that doesn’t have the capability of having a touch screen. There is not a significant gap between the two. Despite this, you will still receive something of excellent build quality that will endure for many years.
This is the second attempt that Garmin has made to create an LTE watch. It does not progress any further than the initial attempt did. You will therefore continue to have access to safety features, the ability to download music, as well as the capacity to receive and process text messages.
The features of the safety mode may be the most helpful. For instance, a program is referred to as Assistance and Assistance Plus. This allows you to communicate with your emergency contacts and send them a message that includes your position. The Plus is an upgraded and more polished version of the original. It immediately notifies the Garmin IERCC, an emergency response center staffed around the clock, of your name and location.
The monthly cost for the LTE plan is $6.99, but you may save $1 by signing an annual commitment instead, which seems like a pretty sensible option if you are in need of functionality of that kind. The Forerunner 945 comes in both an LTE and a non-LTE edition; the only difference between the two is that the LTE version costs an additional $50.
5. Mobvoi Ticwatch Pro 4G/LTE
This list is improved significantly by the inclusion of Mobvoi. Thanks to this capability, users of the TicWatch Pro 4G/LTE on Verizon can share their actual phone numbers and make VoLTE voice calls without the need for a smartphone. This also applies to the usage of text messaging and messaging apps.
The timepiece incorporates several notable improvements compared to its predecessor, which did not support LTE. A good illustration of this would be the SOS alerts that utilize cellular connectivity. In the event of an emergency, the device, much like the Apple Watch, will call 911 and relay your current position to the people you have designated in advance.
However, in regards to the one-of-a-kind design, it hasn’t changed, which is something that all consumers should commend. The most notable feature of the current version is that it has a multilayer top, which enables one-of-a-kind power-saving capabilities. This is the version’s main party trick. This is something that has been carried over to the 4G/LTE edition.
6. Fossil Gen 5 LTE
This watch was introduced at the beginning of the year at CES 2021; however, it does not come equipped with a Qualcomm 4100 CPU but includes an LTE connection. It is essential to keep in mind that this is incompatible with any other network save Verizon’s.
However, if you really cannot live without it, keep in mind that you always have the option of purchasing the model that does not support LTE; however, this will mean that you will be unable to put the phone down alone.
The cellular feature is compatible with devices that have 1 GB of random access memory (RAM) and 8 GB of storage. These are pretty good specifications, which help ensure that the watch operates streamlined and efficient. The device’s internal specifications include a standard assortment of fitness sensors (accelerometer, altimeter, compass, gyroscope, off-body infrared, and pulse oximeter) and NFC, GPS, a loudspeaker, and a microphone. The entirety of this has been tested with a water resistance rating of 5 ATM.
You will not get a good battery life with this watch, just like with the Apple Watch and the majority of Wear OS devices. The excellent news is that placing it on the charger for about fifty minutes will virtually wholly charge it. Users can anticipate getting about 24 hours of use out of a single charge with typical usage.